Sideshow: Wonderful Wizard is still a whiz

James Franco and Michelle Williams. MERIE WEISMILLER WALLACE / Disney Enterprises
James Franco and Michelle Williams. MERIE WEISMILLER WALLACE / Disney Enterprises
Posted: March 12, 2013

Oh, we're off to see the wizard - and dropping a lot of coin doing it.

Oz the Great and Powerful showed its mightiness at the box office on its debut weekend, raking in $80.3 million for the Munchkins at Disney. The 3D prequel to L. Frank Baum's classic tale stars James Franco as the Wizard and Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz as the witches he finds in Oz. Sam Raimi, who helmed the original Spider-Man trilogy, directed.

Box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian told the Associated Press the success of Oz was "a shot in the arm" for the movie industry. "We had six consecutive weekends where the box office was down. . . . There have been several underperformers."

Speaking of underperformers, Jack the Giant Slayer, which debuted with a disappointing $28 mil last weekend, was all the way down to $10 million this weekend, although that was still enough for second place in the box office derby.

Identity Thief, which has been around for a month, took third place with a gate of $6.3 million. Dead Man Down, a new release starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace, took in $5.3 million for its opening weekend, to nab fourth place. Fifth place went to Snitch, starring Dwayne Johnson and Susan Sarandon; it's been around for three weeks. It brought in $5.1 mil.

Raspy Rihanna rests voice

Laryngitis forced Rihanna to postpone her Diamonds World Tour concert in Boston on Sunday night. Live Nation announced the singer "contracted laryngitis" and was skipping the performance "per doctor's instruction." Us Weekly reported that Rihanna is expected to return to the stage Tuesday in Baltimore. She is scheduled to perform Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center.

What's in a name

You'd suspect someone who chose to call herself Holly Madison (actually born with the more prosaic name Hollin Sue Cullen) would have a knack for picking unusual names. And you'd be right, given what Holly, one of The Girls Next Door, came up with for her newborn daughter: Rainbow Aurora, her child with bf Pasquale Rotella. Responding to wags who suggested the euphonious appellation (thanks for that, W.C. Fields) might be a handicap for the wee one, Madison, 33, writes on her website that she doesn't care what those "smug haters who bag on my choice of a name" think. She confides that she knew a girl in school named Rainbow: "She was a perfectly normal, well-adjusted, sporty girl, by the way, so I'm not worried about my daughter being 'traumatized' by having an unusual name."


Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@ phillynews.com. This article includes information from Inquirer wire services.

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